Your top five stories from the past week
Happy Monday MRR readers! We hope you enjoyed Hall of Flowers in Santa Rosa this past week! Don’t forget to check us out at CWCB in Los Angeles later in the week for our retailing workshop on Thursday, Cannabis Retailing: Beyond the Basics! We know you want to get caught up on the latest in news, so we’ll jump right into it.
The major story from last week comes from Oregon where the OLCC has canceled the recreational producer’s license for High Cascade Farms. It comes after a series of violations discovered after a butane honey oil explosion earlier in the year. In one instance, someone at the farm — using the account tied to employee Andrew Heller — reported two marijuana plants as destroyed because of pests. But the commission says those plant tags were recovered from the scene of the butane honey oil explosion March 18 at a Bend duplex. Charles Ringo, who is listed as president and secretary of High Cascade’s holding company, Byzantium Corp., couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.
In the U.S. is the little known Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)—a tiny Pacific territory with a population of just over 50,000. In this tiny territory, they are making huge news with landmark legislation. Gov. Ralph Torres (R), adults over 21 years of age will be able to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana, as well as infused products and extracts. Regulators will issue licenses for cannabis producers, testing facilities, processors, retailers, wholesalers, and lounges. Home cultivation of a small number of plants will be allowed. CNMI is the first place in the U.S. to launch a commercial cannabis legalization system through an act of lawmakers.
Vangst, the well known cannabis industry jobs platform, has released the industry’s first ever jobs report. For anyone in the cannabis industry, the report findings were positive, showing nothing but growth in both jobs and salaries in the cannabis industry nationwide. Between January 1, 2017 and August 1, 2018, there was a 690% growth in cannabis-related job listings on the company’s employment platform and the company projects a 220% growth in cannabis industry jobs by 2019. Average salaries across the board in cannabis jobs increased 16.1% between 2017 and 2018.
Another major story out of Oregon affects the medical market there. In August, a state analyst spotted dozens of suspicious transactions when he crunched cannabis sales data: a small number of medical marijuana cardholders bought unusually large quantities of marijuana flowers on consecutive days. Oregon regulators suspected medical marijuana patients and caregivers were exploiting the system by buying cannabis to sell on the illicit market. The response was swift from the OLCC which drastically reduced the amount able to purchase, a pound and a half of marijuana down to 1 ounce, in the hopes of hindering black market sales.
Last but not least, our friends in Nevada finished up the application process for new retail shops last week. The Nevada Department of Taxation has indicated that it will issue up to 64 new recreational marijuana retail store conditional licenses on or before December 5, 2018. In August, the Department announced the allocation of the new licenses to each jurisdiction within each county and to the unincorporated area of the county proportionally based on the population. This allocation results in the following distribution of additional licenses: Unincorporated Clark County (10), North Las Vegas (5), City of Las Vegas (10), City of Henderson (6), City of Reno (6) and all other jurisdictions (1 or 2 each). We’ll keep an eye on this and let you know when the final applicants finally get awarded new licenses.
As always subscribe to our Daily Digest by signing up at the bottom of this article to get the latest in retail-related news in the cannabis industry delivered to you daily. Also, make sure to check out our CBD Special Report – Integrating CBD Into Your Cannabis Retail Strategy, available now in digital format. If you were at The BIG Industry Show this past weekend in Los Angeles, you were lucky enough to get a physical edition of the report. Your next chance to grab a physical copy of the report will be at CWCB in Los Angeles later this month!